Mumbai: Shashank Manohar, president, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was delighted at India’s commanding ten-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first Test at Hamilton on Saturday.
He was confident that Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team would carry forward the good work and win the first Test series in New Zealand in 41 years.
“The team is good and has performed in a brilliant manner. They deserve the success for the fine effort and I am confident they will win the series. There’s no doubt about that. They are playing as a cohesive unit and the dressing room atmosphere is fantastic,” said Mr. Manohar.
The former chairman of the national selection committee, Dilip Vengsarkar, said that what mattered for any team is making an impact and winning a Test and series overseas. “This is exactly the Indian team is doing now. It’s an excellent win because the Indian team dismissed New Zealand twice under four days.
“India took the field with four bowlers (Zaheer Khan, Ishant Shama, Munaf Patel and Harbhajan Singh) and each one is capable of taking five wickets in an innings.”
With regard to Sachin Tendulkar’s 160, he said: “Sachin held the innings together, made sure of a big lead (241 runs) and put India in the driver’s seat.
“Harbhajan was off colour in the first innings, but struck form in the second. He is a key bowler of the team and it’s important he’s among wickets.”
Ajit Wadekar, who was in the Indian team that won the first Test series in New Zealand in 1967-68, said that the Dhoni-led Indian Test team is the best ever.
“India could have finished the Test in three days; they allowed New Zealand off the hook on the first day. But to have finished it in less than four days is a remarkable effort.
“India has tremendous batting depth and more importantly there is a positive flow. The series is in India’s hands now. Laxman, Dravid and Tendulkar have played together for many years and they are vital components of this team. India needs them in the middle order.”
The former India captain said that playing Munaf Patel as the third seamer was a good decision.
“Munaf is a line and length and tight bowler. He has the ability to swing and move the ball of the pitch and has a deceptive yorker-length delivery.
“Harbhajan is a much improved bowler. He was, because of one-day and Twenty20, bowling quick and aiming for the spot. Now he has changed, imparting spin and bringing in the loop element. He’s sending down the ‘doosra’ less frequently and judiciously. He has good support from Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh. The New Zealand batsmen are suspect against spin as they were in 67-68.”